Sadly, very sadly ~ Temples are under the vicious grip of Government, governed through HR&CE - none of the devotees dare ask – why conducting feeding on the day of a former CM inside temples with temple funds – wny not in any other religious place ? – and more importantly, why administer only Hindu temples ???
It is baffling – the grave crime that gets committed at Temples – a form of organized looting. Recently, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department released statistics that 1,204 idols belonging to temples in the State were stolen between 1992 and 2017 – that gives rise to 2 fundamental Qs..
1. What is action taken ?? - how many recovered ??
2. How many idols were stolen prior to that period and what is HR& CE doing ?
In Temples one could find boards showing details of defaulters – running into lakhs and remaining unpaid for a decade or so.. .. with measly rents, if it were to accumulate to lakhs – whose fault and what action – what action against those administrators who have not taken any measures to protect the Temple property that they claim to manage and realize reasonable rent !! Recently, the HR&CE Department filed a counter affidavit in the Madras High Court listing out idols which were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu. According to the department, between 1992 and 2017, as many as 1,204 idols — 372 stone and 832 bronze — belonging to 387 temples were reported to be missing.
Worser still - the Madras high court on Friday censured the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department for failing to protect, preserve and maintain temple idols.
“If the idols are kept locked up without any maintenance, what is the purpose of having such a department,” Justice R Mahadevan asked, adding that the situation is the same in the 1,700 temples that he had visited in the state. The criticism by the judge pertained to the theft of several ancient idols from the state’s temples. The court made the observation after IG Pon Manickavel, chief of idol wing, informed the court that most of the antique idols were not properly maintained by the department. The judge then directed the additional advocate-general Aravindh Pandian, the commissioner of HR&CE and IG Pon Manickavel to sit and finalise the steps to implement various guidelines issued by the court in connection with the preservation and maintenance of idols.
In a recent hearing, pulling up the Tamil Nadu government for failing to cooperate in investigations connected to idol thefts, the court warned that it would be compelled to order a CBI probe into the cases, if such attitude of the authorities continued. The observations were made on two separate pleas moved by R Venkataraman and advocate Elephant G Rajendran seeking transfer of investigation on all the pending cases of idol thefts to the CB-CID.
In July, 2017 the court overruled the transfer of Pon Manickavel out of the idol wing police and directed the officer to head the wing again. The court further ordered transfer of all the cases pending in various courts across the state, prosecuted by the Idol wing, to the file of the additional chief judicial magistrate, Kumbakonam, for speedy disposal on a day-to-day basis.
Recently there was news that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department launched a survey of idols in the 4,000-and-odd temples in the Salem region. The initiative was following the unearthing of yet another idol smuggling racket and recovery of a large number of idols stolen from the temples across the State. More than 4,000 temples are attached to the HR and CE Department in the four districts - districts of Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri.
Sad, they do not know what they have in possession, they cannot protect, some officials collude to – and they take and keep the God away from Temple in lockers. Only Sarweswaran can give some knowledge to these hay and save the Temples.
~ allikkeni Mainthan.
18th Feb 2018.